10 yr old daughter acting up - FamilyEducation
10 yr old daughter acting up
06/18/2008 at 16:40 PM

Hi, I'm a newbie and just about at the end of my tether with my 10 yr old daughter, who seems to be extremely upset, angry, frustrated at the whole world and I don't know why.

The behaviour started about a year ago when I was offered a better job, with better prospects etc. Up until that point she was a happy child, always laughing and smiling. Now she lies, has major attitude problems, is constantly having a go at her older sister calling her names and being horrid. And after another day of her refusing to go to school because her older sister is on study leave and she doesn't see why her sister can stay home and she can't, I told her she couldn't go to the circus. Her answer - " I should just go kill myself and you can spend all your time with Emily"

She refuses to talk to me about her issues, what causes her to be upset and angry. I have offered her the option of taking her to see a counsellor someone that she can confide in that is not mummy, and she refuses point blank and tells me she doesn't have a problem, then goes to sit in her room for the rest of the evening.

I am frightened that if I can't reach her and try to stop this behaviour, I will have lost all control over her by the time she is a teen.  But I don't know how to reach her anymore.

Please don't advise me to smack her, I totally disagree with any kind of  punishment that involves an adult hitting a child. I just really need to know is this normal behaviour for a ten yr old. I never experienced it with my eldest daughter and so feel completely at a loss on how to deal with her. And would welcome comments from other parents that have had issues like this to deal with


Ebs, if you have read through some of the earlier threads, you will have seen some on smacking. There are some very strong opinions on here about it and we can get a little heated at times, but I think the majority of us think the same and are totally against smacking. I don't think smacking is the answer to anything either and would never advocate it. When you say you got a better job and things changed, were there a lot of adjustments for her to make like you working longer hours or further from home etc? Children's hormones can be going through the 'teenage' phase at 10 and some of her attitude will be perfectly normal because of this. No two siblings are the same and they react differently to challenges posed for them. Do you get the chance to spend time alone with her. Try to spend a certain time every week just the two of you. It sounds like she is very jealous of her older sister. Maybe this will help her to see that you love them both just as much.

I agree that the job changes may have triggered something, but how did it change the older sister? Is she getting new attention that causes this 10 y/o to feel left out? As a survivor of a suicide, I would suggest that you take the comment seriously and seek a family counselor. The younger girl may be the outward sign of trouble, but she focuses on the older girl so I would start with a group session and see what a counselor suggests.